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Frameworks of Power

Frameworks of Power

August 1989 | 320 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
This textbook provides a coherent and comprehensive account of the different frameworks for understanding power which have been advanced within the social sciences. Though looking back to the classical literature on power with special emphasis on Machiavelli and Hobbes, the book concentrates on the modern analysis of power - from both British and American social and political theorists, and from German Critical Theory and French theorists such as Foucault - and develops upon its theory and its application.

Not only does the book provide an overview of the various frameworks of power advanced by these and other influential thinkers, but it also develops a new synthesis based on important work in both the sociology of science and the sociology of organizations. This approach is then applied to key questions in the comparative historical sociology of the emergence of the modern state.

Frameworks of Power
An Overview of the Argument

Traditional Roots, Modern Problems

Political Community, Methodological Procedures and the Agency Model
The Power of Intention and Structure
Lukes' Dimensions and Epistemology
Giddens' Critique of Parsons and the Duality of Structure
Post-Structuralism, Sovereign Power and Disciplinary Power
Circuits of Power
A Framework for Analysis

Constituting Circuits of Power in Modernity

`While Frameworks of Power is ostensibly directed at scholars in organization studies, it clearly has a much wider domain, addressing concerns pivotal to social theory as a whole. Clegg provides insightful and evocative critiques of the standard debates on power' - Communication Theory

`Clegg provides a useful textbook discussion of the modern literature and draws from it an ingenious model of his own' - Political Studies

`should be widely adopted as a teaching text: no alternative is so up-to-date, or so adept in identifying and interpreting recent developments' - Sociology

`It is to our benefit that Stewart Clegg has laboured so assiduously to bring clarity and lucidity to [the] concept [of power]... the book presents and addresses a multiplicity of debates around power, particularly those which have taken place in English-speaking regions in the 20th centruy. Yet it is more than this, it is also a developed theoretical statement, an attempt to enunciate and illustrate a particular framework of power around the idea of 'circuits' of power. Clegg's knowledge and exposition of the field are extremely thorough and border on the prodigious... the range of themes is itself extraordinary.' - Prometheus

`a particularly clear and incisive survey of the field, and a stimulating and important contribution to the on-going debate over the nature of power... As well as the carefully argued writing style in the analytical tradition, there are passages of a different writing... [that] suggest that Clegg took pleasure in the writing. All power to his keyboard. The result is a book that we and our students can approach with the expectation that we will not only benefit from it, but enjoy the read' - APROS Bulletin

`an ambitious book, spanning the theoretical issues of sociology from the most micro to the most macro dimensions of analysis. Clegg integrates the theory of power with the sociology of organizations, and shows us the relationships among social cognition, class structure, organizational processes and historical change. Clegg's work is on the frontier of current thinking in the social sciences' - Randall Collins, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Riverside

`Comprehensive and systematic, Stewart Clegg has given us a masterly survey of theories of power, from Machiavelli to postmodernism.... it is a major contribution to contemporary social theory' - Bryan S Turner, University of Utrecht

`This is just what I was looking for: a thorough, balanced, and above all, readable account of the central concept of politics which takes us from Hobbes through all the major writers to Foucault. It is an admirably clear statementof the classics, and an attempt to go beyond them. It will immediately go in the `Essential Reading' part of my graduate and undergraduate course lists' - Professor Kenneth Newton

`brilliant... fills a gap in the sociological literature... the theoretical framework is especially relevant to redefine the sociological debate' - Professor Lucien Karpik, Centre de Sociologie de l'Innovation, l'Ecole des Mines

`This important book reopens the debate about power in modern society. The book starts where Steven Lukes and Anthony Giddens left the controversy several years ago, but Clegg redirects the debate, by reconceptualizing power as an organizational phenomenon. Organization provides the `framework of power', and without knowledge of this framework power cannot be adequately conceptualized. As such, this book invigorates both the debates on power and the entire field of organizational studies. - Gary G Hamilton, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Davis

`A distinctive, even outstanding, consideration of power, remarkably informed and thoughtful... bringing together European and American thinking past and present.' - Professor David J Hickson, University of Bradford

`a comprehensive analysis of the various discussions of power in current social theory and criticism. This book should be of substantial interest to communication scholars' - Quarterly Journal of Speech `most impressive. Using the giants of the past - Hobbes and Machiavelli - as a starting point, Clegg presents an integrated framework with the giants of the present - Giddens and Lukes. In the process, Clegg makes some important original contributions to the development and use of concepts related to power' - Richard Hall, Professor of Sociology, SUNY Albany

`the book not only provides an interesting and readable discussion of major texts on power in social theory, but also provides an interesting framework for the analysis of power that deserves further attention.' - Accounting, Auditing and Accountability

`In Frameworks of Power, he apparently sets himself an almost impossible task. He attempts to produce a work that is both a comprehensive historical and theoretical overview of the concept of power, and a substantive and original contribution to debates in that literature. However, Clegg has succeeded remarkably well on both counts. First, his book is a wide-ranging and nuanced overview and critique of theories of power stretching from Hobbes to Foucault. Second, Clegg spends the last third of the book presenting an alternative conception of power that is both theoretically sophisticated and powerfully insightful....While Frameworks of Power is ostensibly directed at scholars in organization studies, it clearly has a much wider domain, addressing concerns pivotal to social theory as a whole. Clegg provides insightful and evocative critiques of many of the standard debates on power, although his reading of Gidden's structuration theory should be of particular interest to communication scholars.' - Communication Theory

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